Lady of the Echoes
（1）A legend of the Echoing Lady
Within a stone's throw of my residence, there is a small mountain, known as Dong Shan. The east side of the mountain is a steep rocky cliff.
About 150-200 meters away from the cliff, is a lake named Shi Hu, which was my most favorite place to swim together with my childhood friends.
When we were most excited, we always shouted to the cliff. Then, a dreary booming sound with eerie horror came back to us and made our hair stand on end.
I didn’t know what had happened and came back home paled with fright.
“What’s wrong with you, my dear?” mum asked me anxiously.
“ I found someone in the mountain always followed my voice. Who is it? Mum.”
“ Oh, that ,” she said, looking serious, “ That’s the echoing lady.” Mum explained to me, “ She is a witch whose fancy is to follow someone’s loud voice. Remember, If you ignore her, she will do you no harm, however if you respond to her, then, she will capture and detain your soul.
“Never respond to her, or any strange calling, especially at dusk.” Mum warned me again and again.
She explained to me even further, after sunset, there are some ghosts whose souls had been captured by the echoing lady before and they would be wandering and howling everywhere until the time of their descendents.
If someone answered their calling, one of them would capture its soul and handed it to the echoing lady.
The ghost itself, however, could be free from her detainment and be restored by attaching its soul to the victim’s body.
At that time, the culture in my hometown was very backward.
No any scientific knowledge ever visited there.
Parents could only get some superstitions from their own parents by means of oral legends and used them to perceive the world.
With such poor understanding, they were wrongly handing them down from generation to generation without consciousness.
Mum’s thrilling explanation and instruction really made me nervous for a long time, until I was brought up and learnt some acoustics knowledge in my middle school.
The fear and mystery to the terrible lady gradually disappeared, however, shortly after mum’s story telling, a real “Echoing Lady” was appearing and haunting our community.
Her terrible shouting in Dong Shan Mountain had truly horrified and stricken us and made us show a clean pair of heels immediately.
(To be continued by Part 2: An Awesome Old Lady)